REACH – Reading Enhances All Choices for Humans





Reading Enhances All Choices For Humans

Over the next year: With approval from the appropriate approving bodies; St Andrews United Methodist Church congregation; The District superintendent; and the Conference; a plan will be developed to begin a process of developing a Literacy Center to provide literacy training to members of the St Andrew’s United Methodist Church community; and beyond. This center will be connected to and our operating with St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church and not a stand-a-lone. However, proposals will be written and submitted to funding sources to support this structure. (Sources will be for capital and operating funding).

Community Partners: North Thurston Public Schools, Timberline Library, South Sound Reading Foundation, ESD 113, Friends of Reach Volunteers-Saint Martin’s Univ. Prosecuting Attorney and St Andrews members – Former teaches Librarians.

Update as of 03.27.2019

Literacy Center Update April 2019

Thanks to the great work of Barbara Clarkson and Rich Green, we are continuing to make great strides with our Literacy Center. The Church Council has set a goal-date of June 2nd to have a Special Church Conference to vote for the building of the Literacy Center. In this lead up to this date, it is our hope to be as transparent and communicative as possible throughout this process. In this newsletter and those to follow, we will be adding a FAQ section about the status of our hopeful center. Below are the first two questions – questions that I (and your lay leaders) have heard often.

1) Why are we building this center? Jesus often met people where they were in life – wherever life’s journey had brought them. Our UMC heritage has sought to do the same, to include providing quality education for all. When our founder, John Wesley, and his bands of Methodists first began, they created free schools for those who couldn’t afford it. Today, The UMC supports 119 colleges and universities in the US, and about 700 worldwide. In a very “literate society,” those who can’t read fall behind quickly. Almost ¾ of the students (70%) of Lydia Hawk Elementary read below their grade level, and many go home to households where English is not spoken. National research shows that if children are not reading at the 4th grade reading level by 4th grade, they will likely fall behind throughout the entirety of their school years. It is our with them in the journey of life and share with them that someone cares for them!

2) Will there be any cost to the church? This question is on everyone’s mind. As with anything in life, this literacy center comes with a cost. Costs are broken into capital (building) and operational (day-to-day) funds. Capital costs are estimated to be about $2.5 million with an annual operating budget around $250,000 (to serve 100 kids per year). Where will this money come from? Barbara Clarkson, the lead for this project, has great experience in building new programs from scratch, and she is using her past to benefit the future! She has already submitted for $1.5 million for capital funds, and she has about six other granting foundations earmarked to begin requesting money. The Literacy Center will be funded by grants, however, if you’d like to make a donation to the start of this wonderful program, please speak with Pastor Dirk, Barbara Clarkson, or Rich Green.


Literacy Center update February Nexus article - 

On January 9th, Barbara Clarkson (REACH Program Coordinator), Rich Green (Lay Leader), and Pastor Dirk traveled to Tumwater to meet with the District Building Committee to discuss the possibility of building a Literacy Center to house our developing REACH Program. The Committee was excited for the potential of both our REACH program and Literacy Center. On February 7th, the committee will travel to SAUMC to see the building, meet the architect, and discuss the program more thoroughly. If you'd like to hear more about the progress and the program's purpose, please see Barbara, Rich, and/or Pastor Dirk!


Talking Paper – Reading Enhances All Choices for Humans (REACH)

October 16, 2018

Definition and Purpose: The REACH program is to be located at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, designated as a nonprofit community center, and structured as a Literacy Center. Typically, a Literacy Center has designated areas or classrooms that provide students with exciting and interesting experiences to practice, enrich, renew, and enhance their learning. Students arrive at the center to complete an assignment or learn through activities.

A literacy center is designed to provide appropriate materials to help students work independently or collaboratively (with partners or in small groups) to meet literacy goals. Literacy centers are an exciting, self-motivational way to enhance, develop, or extend learning within a classroom. As students are engaged in meaningful literacy tasks at centers, the teacher/volunteer is able to provide reading instruction to small groups of students without interruption.

REACH Program Mission Statement: To improve lives through literacy.

REACH Program Vision Statement: The REACH Program strives to achieve and maintain a future where all individuals have the knowledge, skills, and opportunities needed to flourish in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Theological Foundations: The United Methodist Church (UMC) has – from its inception in 1700’s England – advocated and provided for quality education for all, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, ethnicity, age, or gender. This calling has been affirmed through Scripture: Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray” (NRSV). Jesus, too, showed compassion for children in word (“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones…”; Matt. 18:6) and action (see Matt. 9:22-26).

Today, The UMC continues its advocacy for “quality education,” as we affirm and “support the development of school systems and innovative methods of education designed to assist every child toward complete fulfillment as an individual person of worth” (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶164.e). This support, though, must be put into action as United Methodists are called to “Establish and nurture partnerships with local public schools such as providing after-school and vacation enrichment programs” (The Book of Resolution of The United Methodist Church, ¶3165.v).

Goals: Current interests with 1st - 5th grade education:

  • Support the Common Core State Standards Initiative in coordination with local schools and school districts.
  • Support early grades in Reading, Writing, Language Arts, and Math
    • Instruction with early grades (1st-3rd) to include STEM education
  • Identify data-based school improvement and decision-making
  • Identify effective instruction through research-based teacher training and evaluation
  • Engage school, community, and family partnerships to strengthen academic outcomes and successful transitions
  • Provide opportunities for local teachers-in-training to gain experience in their field.
  • Provide instruction free of charge to all participants.

Over the next year: With approval from the appropriate bodies (i.e. St Andrew’s United Methodist Church congregation, the District Superintendent; and the Conference), a plan will be developed to begin a process of developing a Literacy Center to provide holistic literacy training to members of the neighborhood and community that surrounds St Andrew’s United Methodist Church, and beyond. This center will be connected to – and operating under the 501(c)(3) status of – St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church. Proposals will be written and submitted to funding sources for capital and operating funding to support this structure.

Future Possibilities:

The intent for the REACH Program is to grow beyond the elementary school arrangement. REACH will eventually include literacy for youth, adults, and ESL training.

The REACH Program has been completed as of August 24th. The committee is meeting to discuss the future, as to continue the program after school during the year or wait till next summer to have sessions again. Please check back to this page or call St Andrew's if you are interested in participating in the REACH program. 

Literacy Center - Update Sept 2018

Did you see the display in the Fellowship Hall?

These are the first drawings of what will possibly be the Literacy Center here at St. Andrew's UMC.

Over the next year: With approval from the appropriate approving bodies; the Church congregation; The District superintendent; and the Conference; a plan will be developed to begin a process of developing a Literacy Center to provide literacy training the community; and beyond. This center will be a standalone facility to operate with it’s own funding sources.

Our Goals for the Literacy Center: Opportunities to grow in faith, service, and fellowship – For people of all age groups. St Andrew’s will provide opportunities to address new, diverse, unique, and evolving needs for growth within the church and community.

Welcoming – We will reach out to the community with God’s love; we will create a community where caring and sharing is valued; everyone is welcome.

Community – We will support the community through service and giving; St Andrew’s will be a catalyst to transform the community.

REACH – Reading Enhances All Choices for Humans

Good morning, I have been asked by Pastor Dirk to provide you with a brief introduction to the Literacy program sponsored by St Andrew’s United Methodist Church. It is for elementary school children in this community, but primarily students attending Lydia Hawk elementary School. 

The program is for students going into the 1st -5th grades.

Literacy by its definition is: traditionally meant as the ability to read and write. The modern term's meaning has been expanded to include the ability to use language, numbers, images, computers, and other basic means to understand, communicate, gain useful knowledge, and solve mathematical problems.

The key to literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text; all of which provide a necessary platform for reading fluency and comprehension.

The Program name is REACH Reading Enhances All Choices for Humans

The program starts August 13, – At 10:00am – to Noon from the 13 -24 of August. Volunteers are welcome, as well as snacks for 20. No. Nuts.

REACH has developed partnerships with North Thurston Public Schools, South Sound Reading Foundation, Nisqually Wildlife refuge and the–Educational Service District 113.

REACH is operating with volunteers to assist the children to gain important skills in our written language through reading.

And I personally thank all of you who have spent time, effort, and resources to help launch; REACH - into reality.

Reading development involves a range of complex language underpinnings including awareness of speech sounds (phonology), spelling patterns (orthography), word meaning (semantics), grammar (syntax) and patterns of word formation (morphology). - Barbara Clarkson




   May 2019   
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